“The Fly” is a sci-fi horror film of 1958 directed by Kurt Neumann, based on the short story of the same name by George Langelaan. The plot follows Dr. Andre Delambre, an inventor who tries to create a teleportation machine. During an experiment, a fly sneaks into the machine, swapping parts of its own DNA with Andre’s. As a result, the doctor begins to undergo a slow but inexorable transformation into a human-fly, losing his humanity and becoming increasingly aggressive.
The film was a commercial and critical success, thanks in large part to David Hedison’s performance as Andre Delambre and innovative special effects for the time. “The Fly.” has become a classic of horror cinema and sci-fi, and was followed by two sequels: “The Return of The Fly.” in 1959 and “The Curse of The Fly.” in 1965. A remake was also made in 1986, directed by David Cronenberg, which achieved great success and established itself as a new version of the original story.
The plot of “The Fly” follows Dr. Andre Delambre, a brilliant inventor who is trying to develop a teleportation machine. During one experiment, a fly sneaks into the machine, and the DNA from The Fly’s experiment mixes with Andre’s, causing a series of transformations in his body.
Initially, Andre appears to have no ill effects from the experiment, but he soon begins exhibiting strange symptoms, such as the inability to speak and control his movements. Andre’s wife Helen tries to help him, but eventually discovers the terrible secret behind his strange transformations.
As time passes, Andre becomes more and more like a fly, with a head and arm transforming into body parts of the insect. He and Helen desperately try to find a way to reverse the transformation process, but eventually Andre becomes completely unrecognizable as human, and his bloodlust intensifies.
The tension comes to a head when the police show up at the Delambre house to investigate Andre’s disappearance. Helen tries to hide the truth, but eventually the police discover the presence of the teleportation machine and The Fly’s experiment that came out of it.
Here are the main characters of the movie “The Fly”:
Doctor Andre Delambre: Inventor and scientist, played by David Hedison, who is trying to create a teleportation machine. After a fly sneaks into the machine, the DNA from The Fly’s experiment mixes with Andre’s, causing a series of transformations in his body.
Helen Delambre: Andre’s wife, played by Patricia Owens, who tries to help her husband deal with the consequences of the experiment. Eventually he discovers the terrible secret behind his transformations.
Francois Delambre: Andre’s brother, played by Vincent Price, who helps Helen try to uncover the truth about Andre’s disappearance.
Inspector Charas: Chief of police, played by Herbert Marshall, who tries to solve the mystery of Andre’s disappearance.
Philippe Delambre: son of Andre and Helen, played by Charles Herbert, who collides with the reality of his father’s incredible transformation.
The film “The Fly” was produced by 20th Century Fox and was directed by Kurt Neumann. The film’s screenplay was written by James Clavell and Neumann himself, based on the short story of the same name by George Langelaan.
Filming was carried out in the 20th Century Fox studios in Hollywood and lasted about 31 days, from May 16 to June 18, 1958. The making of the film’s special effects was entrusted to the specialized company Project Unlimited, which created a series of innovative visual effects, including life-size animatronics used in the film’s final scenes.
The film’s cast included David Hedison as Dr. Andre Delambre, Patricia Owens as Helen Delambre, Vincent Price as Francois Delambre and Herbert Marshall as Inspector Charas. The film score was composed by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter.
The film was a commercial success and received positive reviews from critics, becoming a classic of the horror and sci-fi. It also inspired two sequels, “The Return of Doctor K” and “The Curse of The Fly”, as well as a remake directed by David Cronenberg in 1986.
Distribution and Reception
The film “The Fly” was released to U.S. theaters on July 16, 1958. It was a major commercial success, grossing approximately $3 million at the box office and becoming one of the most profitable films of the year. The film also received positive reviews from critics, with praise for the direction, special effects and the actors’ performances.
The New York Times called the film “a well-crafted science fiction horror,” praising Kurt Neumann’s direction and David Hedison’s performance as Andre Delambre. Variety magazine described the film as “one of the best winter horrors” and praised the film’s special effects, especially The The Fly. life-size animatronics used in the final scenes.
The film also received industry acclaim, earning a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Special Effects in 1959.
“The Fly.” was a huge success with both audiences and critics, and its cultural impact influenced horror and sci-fi cinematography for many years to come.
The director of “The Fly” it was Kurt Neumann. Neumann was a German-born American director, known for directing several films of the 1940s and 1950s, including “Tarzan and the Amazons” (1945), “Rocketship X-M” (1950) and “Kronos” (1957).
Neumann has been tapped to direct “The Fly.” for his experience in directing sci-fi films, and for his ability to manage a low-budget production with a high level of special effects. Neumann was also involved in writing the film’s screenplay alongside James Clavell.
Neumann handled the film’s production efficiently and professionally, working closely with special effects company Project Unlimited to bring about the film’s innovative visual effects. His direction was praised by critics for its ability to create an atmosphere of suspense and emotional tension in the film.
Sadly, Neumann was not able to enjoy the film’s success for long, as he died suddenly in 1958, just a few months after the film’s release. However, his work on “The Fly” remained a major contributor to the horror and sci-fi genres, and the film is regarded as one of his finest works as a director.